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alanjlamore
08-20-2005, 01:55 AM
I recently got the nerve to put up some progress pictures of myself on T-Nation for review. Mostly about "should I start cutting now?" and we were talking a bit about viseral fat (which looks like I have too much, especially in the first picture (front relaxed).

I later found some fatter pictures (with shirt on) that I posted twards the end. They don't show how fat I realy was, but I don't have any shirt-off pics from that time.
And, I also don't have any pics from right before I started 'bulking' again, but I was 13lbs lighter a few monts ago.

My screen name there is SWR-1222D.

Here's the link:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=E0A907FA39552E93209D6B651B 4B9026.hydra?id=725285

elissalowe
08-27-2005, 03:43 PM
I recently got the nerve to put up some progress pictures of myself on T-Nation for review. Mostly about "should I start cutting now?" and we were talking a bit about viseral fat (which looks like I have too much, especially in the first picture (front relaxed).

I later found some fatter pictures (with shirt on) that I posted twards the end. They don't show how fat I realy was, but I don't have any shirt-off pics from that time.
And, I also don't have any pics from right before I started 'bulking' again, but I was 13lbs lighter a few monts ago.

My screen name there is SWR-1222D.

Here's the link:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=E0A907FA39552E93209D6B651B 4B9026.hydra?id=725285
Hey Alan:

For some reason, I didn't notice this thread before - but the new post search function hasn't been completely reliable for me over the last couple of weeks. I only picked up on this when I ambled over to this section to post something myself. So of course, I had to check it out - there are very few pictures of people here on the forum, so it's kinda cool to see what the people I'm dealing with actually look like! Most here have seen a number of different pics of me - but I could run into you or anyone else here on the street and not have a clue that I "know" you (Will being the exception: I've seen plenty of pics of him, and we've met in person...).

Just a couple of comments:

1) Assuming the 17 - 18% fat level is accurate, to get from where you are to where you want to be is pretty doable: you need to increase your total lbm by +25 lbs., and decrease your fat mass by -8 lbs. This is something that should be done in shifts: I'd look to hold the line on fat right where you are now, and plan to lose the surplus 8 in the immediate future. When you bulk again, use that 8 lbs. as a sort of "allowance" - when you gain it back, that's when it's time to stop bulking. That way, you don't let the fat gain get out of hand while trying to add lbm. The more fat you have, the longer it's going to take to lose. Just my $0.02...

2) Looks like you're doing a Berardi-style eating plan. Fine - but you shouldn't adopt a schizophrenic eating style: your macronutrient ratios are similar to those for a moderately low-carb fat loss diet, but with a higher volume. Berardi himself writes very favorably about using a carb-to-protein ratio of around 1.4 to 1. You're using something approaching the opposite: a protein-to-carb ratio of around 1.5 to 1. And while he also recommends getting more than 2.0g protein/kg bw - IMO, you're employing a whopping margin of error: 3.4 - 3.8g/kg.

One of the very solid points Berardi makes that has been underappreciated, is the influence of acid-base balance on health and body composition. In fact, I'm in the process of writing an article about this myself, and am currently plowing through 29 full journal articles on the subject. It is a fact that diets high in protein and grain foods produce a considerable amount of acid: while the body has mechanisms to deal with the load, some of the long-term consequences include increases in cortisol levels, decreases in thyroid hormone levels, and nitrogen (muscle!) wasting. This is not to say that we need to abandon high protein diets - but a) there's an upper limit; and b) you need to make sure that you balance the excess acid-forming foods in your diet with foods that are more alkaline: veggies and fruits. You may have noted that this was one of the questions I put to Berardi (see: http://www.bodybuildingrevealed.com/members/showpost.php?p=21108&postcount=68). The article he's referring to is here:http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/bases.htm. So the point I'm trying to make here is that going overboard on protein at the expense of carbs (at least certain kinds of carbs) can be counterproductive. If you're concerned about the accumulation of visceral fat, doing everything possible to control your cortisol levels is a good place to start: I'd cut back on some of that protein to 3.0g/kg max, and make sure that - as Berardi constantly points out - that some alkalinizing foods or supps be a standard part of your meals, including the P + F ones (according to the Berardi rules, you can still have up to 20g carbs with these: and there are plenty of low carb veggies you can choose from). And for starchy carbs, I'd favor starchy veggies (yams, legumes, etc.) over grains.

Food for thought... ;)

Andrew_389
08-29-2005, 03:09 AM
Elissa,

What would you suggest as the upper limit for protein consumption?
I know Will recommends 1.5g/lb in DSR as does CP in German Body Comp. CP even suggests 2.0g/lb for breaking plateaus.

Thanks,

Andrew

elissalowe
08-29-2005, 11:56 AM
Elissa,

What would you suggest as the upper limit for protein consumption?
I know Will recommends 1.5g/lb in DSR as does CP in German Body Comp. CP even suggests 2.0g/lb for breaking plateaus.

Thanks,

Andrew
Will recommends 1.0 - 1.5g protein per pound of lean body weight - not total body weight - in DSR. CP makes a similar recommendation in GBC: "[c]onsume a minimum of 1.5 grams of animal protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day." (emphasis mine).

It's true CP recommends 2.0 - 2.25g/lbs. bw for overcoming a plateau in gaining mass and/or "[f]or carbohydrate-intolerant individuals."

It's also true that CP states: "eat like a caveman" and lauds the work of Loren Cordain, professor/researcher and author of the Paleo Diet. I have several of Cordain's research papers, including one entitled "Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets" (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2000;71:682-692).

An interesting quote from that paper:

"...However humans may not tolerate diets that contain >35 - 40% protein by energy. Previous indirect reconstructions of preagricultural human diets have not considered the modulating influence of dietary protein intake on the selection of dietary fat and carbohydrate (14 - 16). The avoidance of the physiologic effects of excess protein has been an important factor in shaping the subsistence strategies of hunter-gatherers (39 - 41). Many historical and ethnographic accounts have documented the deleterious health effects that have occurred when humans were forced to rely solely on the fat-depleted lean meat of wild animals (39). Excess consumption of dietary protein from the lean meats of wild animals leads to a condition referred to by early American explorers as "rabbit starvation," which initially results in nausea, then diarrhea, and then death (39). ... it is quite likely that the symptoms of rabbit starvation result primarily from the finite ability of the liver to up-regulate enzymes necessary for urea synthesis in the face of increasing dietary protein intake. Rudman et al (43) showed that the mean maximal rate of urea synthesis (MRUS) in normal subjects is 65 mg N/h/kg body wt. (range 55 - 76 mg N/h/kg body wt) and that protein intakes that exceeded the MRUS resulted in hyperammonemia and hyperaminoacidosis. Using Rudman et al's (43) data (assuming 16% N/g protein) we calculated the mean maximal protein intake for an 80-kg subject to be 250g/d (range: 212 - 292g/d). For a 12552 kJ energy intake, the mean maximal dietary protein intake would be 35.1% of energy (range: 29.7 - 40.9% of energy). Therefore, dietary protein intakes greater than the values in this range may result in hyperammonemia and hyperaminoacidemia..."

Cordain is postulating an average maximal protein intake of 250g/day for an 80kg person consuming 3000 calories per day. That's around 3.125g/kg or 1.4g/lbs. bodyweight and 35.1% of calories. At the upper limit of the range he cites (292g) that's 3.65g/kg or 1.65g/lbs. bodyweight and 40.9% of calories.

Now we can quibble with the exact figures here to some extent, since Cordain is extrapolating from data, and not making actual clinical observations. One point is immediately clear though: there is a physiological upper limit for protein intake: it is possible to get too much of a good thing. The second point I'd make - arguing from the above, as well as from CP's examples - is that it's likely you need to consider the percentage of calories coming from protein, as well as the absolute grams per day. In other words, you need to look at protein intake from the perspective of the total diet. CP cites Milos Sarcev for the 2g/lb bw figure - someone who is surely not keeling over from hyperammonemia/hyperaminoacidosis in spite of the fact that it's higher than Cordain's (speculative) 1.65g/lbs. But I can imagine that Milos is also someone who's easily packing away some 6000 or so calories a day! For someone like him, consuming 2g protein/lbs. of bodyweight/day is still going to put his protein intake below the range of 30 - 35% of total calories.

Milos himself states: "My protein recommendations for physically active people is at least 1 gram of protein per pound; for bodybuilders and strength athletes 1 and a half grams per pound and in extreme cases (hardgainers, competitive bodybuilders) I would go as high as 2 grams per pound." (emphasis mine). (http://www.bodybuildingrevealed.com/members/gurus.php?do=view_question&question=29)

In other words, he considers 2g/lbs. bw to be an upper limit, for special cases. Likewise, CP posits 2.25g/lbs as an upper limit for bulking, for individuals who are "carbohydrate intolerant." These are not blanket recommendations for everyone, and given the sources, are very likely within the context of a much higher than average calorie intake.

In Alan's case, he's consuming some 36 - 44% of energy from protein (270 - 300g P vs. 2700 - 3000 kcal/day): which is high any way you look at it, and an inefficient amount for a mass gaining diet. And - in the absence of any indication that it's balanced w/respect to acid load - is likely to be quite acidogenic, something which carries long-term consequences for one's health. My recommendation to drop it to 3.0g/kg (1.36g/lbs.) was based more on that premise, rather than on some absolute "thou-shalt-not-consume-more-than-Xg/lbs. bw" figure. It's comfortably above the 2.0g/kg figure - so it's in line w/Berardi's recommendation - but allows for more cals from carbs (preferably from non-grain plant foods) to provide better acid-base balance, spare protein, and allow for more glycogen storage within the calorie limits he's using. To go with Cordain's work once again, in "The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based on Paleolithic Food Groups" (JANA, 2002; 5(3):15-23), he uses a computer model to propose a diet that contains as much as 38% calories from protein, with a 25 year-old female consuming 2200 kcal per day as the hypothetical consumer. He does not posit a body weight for this individual, although 2200 calories/day is reasonably close to what I would consume for maintenance - so to use me as an example, this works out to 1.75g/lbs. bw (217g protein/124 lbs.). This is very similar to what Alan's taking in (1.56g/lbs. - 1.73g/lbs.). But Cordain's model diet is impeccably balanced w/respect to potential renal acid load - a consideration that the vast majority of people consuming high protein diets do not take into account. Nor are the calories commensurate with a bulking diet - which, to use me as an example once again - would be in the neighborhood of 3000/day. Needless to state, if I wanted to gain lbm, I'd keep the protein where it is, and make up the extra calories with carbs, which would reduce the percentage of protein in the diet from 38% to 29%.

To make a long story short, the "upper limit" for protein intake is something that probably needs to be assessed on an individual basis, and depends on a number of factors: goals (short and long-term), % of total calories, nutrient density of the diet, acid-base balance of the diet, age, and health. IMO, bodyweight (lean or otherwise) isn't the sole consideration.

elissalowe
08-29-2005, 02:39 PM
Sorry Alan! You probably weren't expecting something like this over here in the "Gossip" thread...:D

alanjlamore
08-29-2005, 05:09 PM
Sorry Alan! You probably weren't expecting something like this over here in the "Gossip" thread...:D


No I don't mind at all. I started that diet just because I started to write everything down that I ate (for a change) and kind of combined the 1.5XBW for protein and the cycling of P/C and P/F meals.

I'm adding more veggies into my meals, especially my later protein/fat meals, in the form of frozen veggies. I usually just leave them out for a few hours until they thaw, then eat them, or I try steaming them with a strainer over boiling water (in hopes that this way is better than boiling).

I wasn't gaining or losing any weight with the 2700-3000 calories, so it was good to know at least so I can adjust accordingly. Plus maybe just the percentages of what I eat may change weather I gain or lose with 3000 cal.

With the veggies I've been adding, I'm getting an extra 11-22g of carbs for each of the last 3 meals (with all else pretty much the same). I usually add 2 servings for the first 2 P/F meals, and 1 serving to the last P/F meal. This gives an extra 55g of carbs and an extra 220 calories.

I've also been doing light cardio or energy systems work on 2 of my 3 off days during the week (Chad Waterbury's program 'The Waterbury Method').

I've always seemed to be carb sensitive and tend to gain fat quickly, even while eating clean, with a lot of carbs.

elissalowe
08-29-2005, 06:21 PM
No I don't mind at all. I started that diet just because I started to write everything down that I ate (for a change) and kind of combined the 1.5XBW for protein and the cycling of P/C and P/F meals.

I'm adding more veggies into my meals, especially my later protein/fat meals, in the form of frozen veggies. I usually just leave them out for a few hours until they thaw, then eat them, or I try steaming them with a strainer over boiling water (in hopes that this way is better than boiling).

I wasn't gaining or losing any weight with the 2700-3000 calories, so it was good to know at least so I can adjust accordingly. Plus maybe just the percentages of what I eat may change weather I gain or lose with 3000 cal.

With the veggies I've been adding, I'm getting an extra 11-22g of carbs for each of the last 3 meals (with all else pretty much the same). I usually add 2 servings for the first 2 P/F meals, and 1 serving to the last P/F meal. This gives an extra 55g of carbs and an extra 220 calories.

I've also been doing light cardio or energy systems work on 2 of my 3 off days during the week (Chad Waterbury's program 'The Waterbury Method').

I've always seemed to be carb sensitive and tend to gain fat quickly, even while eating clean, with a lot of carbs.
A "lot" of carbs is relative, of course. I think Berardi's approach can work well for more carb-sensitive individuals by focusing carb intake around workouts to minimize fat gains. But how it turns out may also depend on where you're starting from: I would love to see some follow up to this review by Forbes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10865771&query_hl=28, which basically states that body composition influences the response to overfeeding. Thus, two people, of similar height and weight - but different body comps - will probably respond differently to the same diet. The individual with higher bodyfat will likely gain more weight overall, and have a greater proportion of that as fat. What we don't know is to what extent the composition of the diet will influence that outcome. In other words, can someone who isn't lean achieve the same proportional gains as a leaner person? Since you're essentially conducting this experiment, you'll find out soon enough.

My own guess is no - but I'm still a learner too. This is a question you might want to put to Berardi while you have the chance. Wouldn't hurt to get Will's feedback on the subject either. For at least a little while, you've got two gurus available to query, and you should take advantage of that! ;)

Andrew_389
08-30-2005, 01:32 AM
Will recommends 1.0 - 1.5g protein per pound of lean body weight - not total body weight - in DSR. CP makes a similar recommendation in GBC: "[c]onsume a minimum of 1.5 grams of animal protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day." (emphasis mine).

It's true CP recommends 2.0 - 2.25g/lbs. bw for overcoming a plateau in gaining mass and/or "[f]or carbohydrate-intolerant individuals."

It's also true that CP states: "eat like a caveman" and lauds the work of Loren Cordain, professor/researcher and author of the Paleo Diet. I have several of Cordain's research papers, including one entitled "Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets" (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2000;71:682-692).

An interesting quote from that paper:

"...However humans may not tolerate diets that contain >35 - 40% protein by energy. Previous indirect reconstructions of preagricultural human diets have not considered the modulating influence of dietary protein intake on the selection of dietary fat and carbohydrate (14 - 16). The avoidance of the physiologic effects of excess protein has been an important factor in shaping the subsistence strategies of hunter-gatherers (39 - 41). Many historical and ethnographic accounts have documented the deleterious health effects that have occurred when humans were forced to rely solely on the fat-depleted lean meat of wild animals (39). Excess consumption of dietary protein from the lean meats of wild animals leads to a condition referred to by early American explorers as "rabbit starvation," which initially results in nausea, then diarrhea, and then death (39). ... it is quite likely that the symptoms of rabbit starvation result primarily from the finite ability of the liver to up-regulate enzymes necessary for urea synthesis in the face of increasing dietary protein intake. Rudman et al (43) showed that the mean maximal rate of urea synthesis (MRUS) in normal subjects is 65 mg N/h/kg body wt. (range 55 - 76 mg N/h/kg body wt) and that protein intakes that exceeded the MRUS resulted in hyperammonemia and hyperaminoacidosis. Using Rudman et al's (43) data (assuming 16% N/g protein) we calculated the mean maximal protein intake for an 80-kg subject to be 250g/d (range: 212 - 292g/d). For a 12552 kJ energy intake, the mean maximal dietary protein intake would be 35.1% of energy (range: 29.7 - 40.9% of energy). Therefore, dietary protein intakes greater than the values in this range may result in hyperammonemia and hyperaminoacidemia..."

Cordain is postulating an average maximal protein intake of 250g/day for an 80kg person consuming 3000 calories per day. That's around 3.125g/kg or 1.4g/lbs. bodyweight and 35.1% of calories. At the upper limit of the range he cites (292g) that's 3.65g/kg or 1.65g/lbs. bodyweight and 40.9% of calories.

Now we can quibble with the exact figures here to some extent, since Cordain is extrapolating from data, and not making actual clinical observations. One point is immediately clear though: there is a physiological upper limit for protein intake: it is possible to get too much of a good thing. The second point I'd make - arguing from the above, as well as from CP's examples - is that it's likely you need to consider the percentage of calories coming from protein, as well as the absolute grams per day. In other words, you need to look at protein intake from the perspective of the total diet. CP cites Milos Sarcev for the 2g/lb bw figure - someone who is surely not keeling over from hyperammonemia/hyperaminoacidosis in spite of the fact that it's higher than Cordain's (speculative) 1.65g/lbs. But I can imagine that Milos is also someone who's easily packing away some 6000 or so calories a day! For someone like him, consuming 2g protein/lbs. of bodyweight/day is still going to put his protein intake below the range of 30 - 35% of total calories.

Milos himself states: "My protein recommendations for physically active people is at least 1 gram of protein per pound; for bodybuilders and strength athletes 1 and a half grams per pound and in extreme cases (hardgainers, competitive bodybuilders) I would go as high as 2 grams per pound." (emphasis mine). (http://www.bodybuildingrevealed.com/members/gurus.php?do=view_question&question=29)

In other words, he considers 2g/lbs. bw to be an upper limit, for special cases. Likewise, CP posits 2.25g/lbs as an upper limit for bulking, for individuals who are "carbohydrate intolerant." These are not blanket recommendations for everyone, and given the sources, are very likely within the context of a much higher than average calorie intake.

In Alan's case, he's consuming some 36 - 44% of energy from protein (270 - 300g P vs. 2700 - 3000 kcal/day): which is high any way you look at it, and an inefficient amount for a mass gaining diet. And - in the absence of any indication that it's balanced w/respect to acid load - is likely to be quite acidogenic, something which carries long-term consequences for one's health. My recommendation to drop it to 3.0g/kg (1.36g/lbs.) was based more on that premise, rather than on some absolute "thou-shalt-not-consume-more-than-Xg/lbs. bw" figure. It's comfortably above the 2.0g/kg figure - so it's in line w/Berardi's recommendation - but allows for more cals from carbs (preferably from non-grain plant foods) to provide better acid-base balance, spare protein, and allow for more glycogen storage within the calorie limits he's using. To go with Cordain's work once again, in "The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based on Paleolithic Food Groups" (JANA, 2002; 5(3):15-23), he uses a computer model to propose a diet that contains as much as 38% calories from protein, with a 25 year-old female consuming 2200 kcal per day as the hypothetical consumer. He does not posit a body weight for this individual, although 2200 calories/day is reasonably close to what I would consume for maintenance - so to use me as an example, this works out to 1.75g/lbs. bw (217g protein/124 lbs.). This is very similar to what Alan's taking in (1.56g/lbs. - 1.73g/lbs.). But Cordain's model diet is impeccably balanced w/respect to potential renal acid load - a consideration that the vast majority of people consuming high protein diets do not take into account. Nor are the calories commensurate with a bulking diet - which, to use me as an example once again - would be in the neighborhood of 3000/day. Needless to state, if I wanted to gain lbm, I'd keep the protein where it is, and make up the extra calories with carbs, which would reduce the percentage of protein in the diet from 38% to 29%.

To make a long story short, the "upper limit" for protein intake is something that probably needs to be assessed on an individual basis, and depends on a number of factors: goals (short and long-term), % of total calories, nutrient density of the diet, acid-base balance of the diet, age, and health. IMO, bodyweight (lean or otherwise) isn't the sole consideration.

Thanks for the detailed response Elissa! Makes alot of sense to me, I was following this thread and was a little worried about my own protein intake level. I have a few weeks left on my bulk and I'm at 3800 cal/day with a 30P/30F/40C split, this works out to about 280g/day of protein (70% from whole food). My last bulk was with Will's recommended 20P/30F/50C ratio and I found that while the weight gain was similar between the two, this time much more of the gains were lean (In 11 weks I'm up 15 lbs, maybe I'll psost some pics later). Then again this is an acute condition, when I start dropping the calories in a few weeks the protein intake will come down even if I keep the same ratios. I could post my diet in a seperate thread if you think it would help (I have it written out and follow it to a 'T').

Alan, didn't mean to hijack your thread. I hope my question or more importantly Elissa's response helped you out to some degree. Keep up the good work!

Andrew

elissalowe
08-30-2005, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the detailed response Elissa! Makes alot of sense to me, I was following this thread and was a little worried about my own protein intake level. I have a few weeks left on my bulk and I'm at 3800 cal/day with a 30P/30F/40C split, this works out to about 280g/day of protein (70% from whole food). My last bulk was with Will's recommended 20P/30F/50C ratio and I found that while the weight gain was similar between the two, this time much more of the gains were lean (In 11 weks I'm up 15 lbs, maybe I'll psost some pics later). Then again this is an acute condition, when I start dropping the calories in a few weeks the protein intake will come down even if I keep the same ratios. I could post my diet in a seperate thread if you think it would help (I have it written out and follow it to a 'T').

Alan, didn't mean to hijack your thread. I hope my question or more importantly Elissa's response helped you out to some degree. Keep up the good work!

Andrew
Hey Andrew:

It's a good idea to post info about your program - not necessarily because it might need a critique, but because it's helpful for everyone to see examples of what's worked for others and read about the pluses and minuses. For me, it's not just about giving feedback to individuals - it's also about what's good for the group as a whole. It's part of the job of being a mod - and I get to learn things in the process too. So it's win-win for everyone, IMO.

In general, I'm less concerned about short-term issues - as long as people are in good health, the human body is remarkably resilient. So if your diet was unbalanced w/respect to PRAL (probable), it's not a major concern at this point. But it's the sort of thing that can have long-term repercussions as trends become habits - particularly as you age, and the kidneys become less efficient at excreting acids, and your body is less able to compensate. So it will help to develop an awareness of the need to balance a high-protein diet, and to think about ways to adjust future gaining cycles to get the best of both worlds.

John Berardi has a good summary on the subject which I linked to in my first post, but I'll post again (http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/bases.htm) in case it got lost in the verbiage. I've got all the references he used (and a bunch of others he didn't), so feel free to ask if there's something there that's unclear.